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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Darnell Jackson’s letter to KU fans

Former Kansas University basketball forward Darnell Jackson, who on Friday signed a three-year guaranteed contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, e-mailed a letter to the Journal-World this week. The Cavs' second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma City asked the J-W to share the letter with all KU fans.

Former Kansas University basketball forward Darnell Jackson, who on Friday signed a three-year guaranteed contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, e-mailed a letter to the Journal-World this week. The Cavs' second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma City asked the J-W to share the letter with all KU fans.

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Former Kansas University basketball forward Darnell Jackson, who on Friday signed a three-year guaranteed contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, e-mailed a letter to the Journal-World this week. The Cavs' second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma City asked the J-W to share the letter with all KU fans.

Dear Jayhawk fans,

Just about five years ago I realized a dream when coach (Bill) Self offered me a scholarship to become a Jayhawk. I came to Kansas as a young man who had a lot to learn in a lot of ways. My freshman year was a real eye opener.

On one hand I got a chance to play with some of the greatest players to don a KU uniform in Aaron Miles, Wayne Simien and Keith Langford.

But the rigors of big time college basketball were a real challenge. I had to grow up quickly and learn to take care of business in the classroom and on the court. As all of you know I was a role player my freshman year and played in only 13 games.

But what I hope you all realize is I felt so fortunate to play for the Jayhawks and especially to practice with and learn from guys like Simien and Langford.

By my sophomore year I was a little more prepared for what I needed to do. Coach Self gave me a chance to play a lot more. That year was one of the hardest years of my life. As most of you probably recall, my mom and grandma were hit by a drunk driver that year.

I was already struggling with trying to grow up and be a better student and a better teammate. Then when my mom was seriously hurt and my grandma was killed, I felt like the world was caving in on me. That, I think, was the first time I really truly started to understand what it meant to be part of the Jayhawk family.

Looking back I see what incredible support I received from so many Jayhawk fans that I had never even met. At the time I was really struggling to battle the "woe is me" trap. But now I can look back and see how I learned so much from all of you who were so ready to offer love and support.

I can tell you now, that is one of my most cherished memories as a Jayhawk. I loved winning on the court but it was then I started to see that being a Jayhawk was really something that would be there for me the rest of my life.

By my junior year I was still struggling with insecurity about handling all the stress I felt. My mom was still in pain and needing surgery after surgery. My little brother and sister were growing up and I felt I needed to be there for them. I still lacked confidence that I could step up and be what the coaching staff was hoping from me.

I felt like I needed to be a leader and to represent KU in a great way that all you fans deserved. But I still needed to grow up and learn how to handle all these things. But everywhere I turned there was always a KU fan with an encouraging word.

At the time I sometimes thought that no one really understood what I was going through. But looking back I have learned that even if that was true what really was amazing was that people just wanted to show love and support.

I now realize how that continuous support from all of you was always something that lifted me up and made me feel good and positive. It was my junior year that all my inner turmoil came to a head. I felt so overwhelmed by everything that I just reacted without really thinking and came home to Oklahoma City. I just felt I couldn't take care of my family and school as well as being the Jayhawk everybody wanted me to be any more. I was just feeling overwhelmed.

That is when it happened. After coach Self came down and talked with me I decided to come back. It was then I started to realize that the reason I was feeling so overwhelmed was that I was mostly focusing on myself and my stress. All this time I was playing for the greatest basketball school in the country with the best fans hands down.

I started to see what a blessing it was to have people who were so willing to show love and support. And I can assure you that you fans did show love and support far beyond anything I could have hoped for. I also realized that the coaching staff was trying to get me to become the best I could be.

I realized that all of the yelling and pushing was just trying to get me to work harder and improve. Over the summer between my junior and senior years I got to spend a lot of time at home. I really began to see and focus on all the blessings I had rather than all the trials. I came back for my senior year determined to be the best Jayhawk I could be.

A very close friend of mine, my mentor, always would tell me that when I was so blessed I needed to understand that put a responsibility on me to multiply those blessings by giving blessings to others.

I really was seeing what a great blessing it was to be on such a great team, with great coaches but most of all having the Jayhawk on my jersey in a packed Allen Fieldhouse with the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans anywhere.

So I wanted to start giving back by playing my butt off and giving all you fans something to cheer about. In April I was able to realize a second great dream along with all my teammates when we brought a National Championship back to Lawrence.

I didn't think anything could ever top running out on the court at Allen Fieldhouse. But when 100,000 fans showed up to celebrate our championship I truly felt so honored to be able to be a small part in bringing such joy to all you fans.

Believe me, it only begins to pay you back for all the love and support you have given me these last four years.

Well, this week I realized a third dream when I signed a multi-year contract to play in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers. I am very excited to play in Cleveland. But I want all of you fans to know that no matter where I go or what I do, I will forever be thankful to you for showing all the love and support for me these last four years. I AM FOREVER A JAYHAWK. I even have a degree to prove it. You fans have taught me so much and meant so much to me so I wanted to send you this letter saying THANK YOU.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk,
Darnell Jackson

Comments

Clarence Haynes 6 years, 1 month ago

Classy and RESPONSIBLE young man. I hope that the incoming freshmen take heed! In fact, AD Perkins should post this letter on the locker of all KU student athletes!

Jonathan Andrews 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,I am moved that you would even take the time to write such a wonderful and heartfelt letter to all of us. We really appreciate it.I wish you nothing but the very best as you enter this new chapter in your life, as a professional basketball player.

yates33333 6 years, 1 month ago

A man of your quality would have made it anyway, but thanks for the good and kind words. I hope you become one of the best in the NBA. You are already in my book.

fundamental 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,You are a classy, stand-up individual. We already knew it, but this just goes the extra mile to prove it. Well done, Darnell. Well done indeed.

dminear60 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow. You made us proud and you will continue to do so. It truly could not happen to a nicer more deserving person.Best of luck to you in your career.

jayhawkox 6 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, Darnell. For being a living definition of a Jayhawk and giving every Jayhawk fan another reason to be proud to call themselves that. Your passion and integrity was evident in the stories that ran about you, and I'm so happy for you that you were able to work through all of that to make such an amazing career for yourself. Best of luck in the NBA and Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

chaggs 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow!With the embarrassing judgement of some basketball players over the last couple of days, I for one needed to read this letter.We all know Darnell's struggles throughout his career. Nobody could blame him if he had stayed home. I certainly wouldn't have.But what he realized that he did have a family. Family that extends past the walls of the Phog. Past the borders of not only the state but of the country. This family is international and passionate.Congratulations Darnell.Congratulations on the national championship. Congratulations on the contract wth the Cavs.Congratulations on earning your degree.Within Darnell beats the heart of a Jayhaw and I have counted it a privelege to watch him off and on the court over the past 4 years.Facing weighty trials, most people seek to merely survive. Darnell thrived. That is inspiring. Stuff that movies are made of.In closing, does anyone else think Darnell would be a wonderful ambassador for KU on the recrutiing trail? He could speak personally of the family that is KU basketball. Is that even within the rules? Would appreciate an answer from someone with a little insight.

JBurtin 6 years, 1 month ago

"Well, this week I realized a third dream when I signed a multi-year contract to play in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers."I think I can speak for every fellow Jayhawk when I say. . . it couldn't have happened to a nicer person.Here's to hoping that many more dreams can come true for you.

cklarock 6 years, 1 month ago

You made us all proud, D. -- any man can do the right thing when the sun shines, but it takes a real man do to it under stress and adversity. Your example is one that any of us can be proud to hold up.You deserve all your success in life -- when you get it, give it, and when you give it, it comes back.Four more years! Four more year . . . oh, right. NBA! NBA!Signed,A new Cleveland fan.

dmail42 6 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Darnell, We are all so proud of you and thankful for everything you have done. Cleveland is lucky to have have you. Good luck!!!

treidy 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell, I have never been prouder to be a Jayhawk! You exemplify everything it means to be a role model and a man! Here it is on perhaps the best day of your life and you reach out to the fans and bring me to tears. God bless you and your family and enjoy the moment because no one deserve it more than you.

sdoyel 6 years, 1 month ago

No, THANK YOU DJ. There wasn't a player on our team that deserved that National Championship more than you!Best of luck in the NBA!

kutravis 6 years, 1 month ago

this almost brings me to tears. I've never been more proud of a jayhawk player in my entire life and i feel there is no one more deserving of an NBA contract. Congrats Darnell. You'll always be my favoritve Jayhawk and I wish you the best.

Joe Ross 6 years, 1 month ago

Ive got a man crush on Darnell!I know many of you got choked up reading that letter like I did. To have a kid come so far in our program and go from role player on a college team to guaranteed contract on a professional one tugs at your heart strings because its just such a great story. Its even more poignant given the personal crises Darnell endured.I just love this kid! And I love how he declares in all caps..."I AM FOREVER A JAYHAWK!"Classy...classy...

jaybate 6 years, 1 month ago

The Cleveland organization got a hell of a man, a very good ball player, and the key ingredient they must have to achieve the most with the other talent on the team. Someone in Cleveland recognizes this. You no doubt have skeletons in your closet, things you are not proud of. All men do. Never let what you have done wrong stop you from doing what you can do right. I think you know this already, but let me reinforce it. It never hurts. Each man is the sum of what he has done right AND wrong, not just what he has done right. Failures can never be an excuse for not exercising courage under fire, for not becoming the best you can be.If your physical abilities and health permit you to be a regular in the NBA (and I believe they will), Cleveland will very likely win a ring a few seasons from now, just as KU did. And they will talk about Lebron just as so many have talked about Brandon, but those who understand how organizations succeed (like Brandon knows now and like Lebron one day will) will quietly nod and know what the true origin the success was.I apologize for calling you 5kDarnell. And you have made me a better Jayhawk by giving me reason to apologize. I am not going to coin derogatory nicknames for any player again.What I said was wrong for many reasons and it took someone like you to make me understand this. Perhaps this says more about my shortcomings than about your strengths, but in any case, the change is made. I mention this not out of contrition, but to make sure you "get" the influence you wield. I am sure your coaches and teammates and mentor are aware of it, too. But every individual with this capacity has to be aware of it first, before they can bring it to its full fruition. Consider my apology then, a small indicator aimed to help make you aware of this capacity you have.Rock Chalk.

John Brown 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,You will do well in anything that you put your mind on in life. You will be forever a great Jayhawk. You deserve to have your jersey hanging from the rafters in Allen Field House. We need to honor courage, character, and class as much as we do points and rebounds.

tis4tim 6 years, 1 month ago

Chill bumps.What a gracious ambassador Darnell will be for the league. Take note, David Stern.

KU1979 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell -- you need to speak to every freshman basketball player that comes to KU and tell them what's in store for them. There will be ups and downs, but if you work hard, the coaches and fans will be there for you, and you will succeed. You are a testament to what can happen if you keep trying and don't give up. We love you, man!

5DecadeHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations Darnell.Don't be a stranger. Lawrence will always welcome you back with open arms.Lawrence is a great place because of it's people, and I'm proud that those people have been able to help Darnell the last few years. Those same people will be helping many more in years to come.This is just one example of why many of us ardently defend Lawrence and KU against the detractors that go out of their way to distort our flaws and overblow them.Thank You Darnell.You are one of us now.When your playing days are done (I hope you have a long and successful career.), bring your family back home to Lawrence and help us help the next generation the same way you were helped. You might find that task more rewarding than basketball ever was. Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

jayhawkr34 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't want to sound like one of those "I told you so" people, but i saw that in in Darnell. I was literally brought to tears reading his words. My family just knew goods things would come for darnell. No thank you Darnell....Good things come to good people.

KUFan90 6 years, 1 month ago

This letter gave me chills. Darnell and his story embody all that is "right" about the college basketball experience. Congrats to Darnell and his incredible journey, and best of luck for continued success!

Lesta 6 years, 1 month ago

Quite simply, you're the man, Darnell.

KU1979 6 years, 1 month ago

Back at ya, big guy. Congratulations on signing the contract and best wishes for a great career and a tremendous life! Come back and see us often!

jaybate 6 years, 1 month ago

For awhile I referred to you as 5kDarnell, because I suspected you had sullied the program by taking money from your mentor. It was a not unreasonable concern on my part. But every time I looked at you on a basketball court I saw a person not only with excellent physical abilities and a dubious gift from a booster but with that something extra inside that sometimes allows a person to make others around him better. Your early tentativeness and self-doubt did not mask this quality, they only made one wonder if you had the courage and perseverance to let it come to bear fruit on our team. Thank heavens for KU that you did.What you have makes others better not just in their performances, but in their courage and determinations to get their jobs done and to look out for their buddies doing it. IMHO, this is the greatest and, often the rarest, of desirable human attributes. Anyone can find the open man. Few can make someone else want to fing the open man.This quality, or gift, or what have you, is also the one all of society depends upon to continue with some semblance of decency, dignity, compassion and order. At least some leaders must have this attribute, afterall, or all the laws and rules and power lead inevitably to tyranny, as certainly as having no laws, rules and power lead to chaos. Individuals, not systems, ultimately make the difference in the moment. Systems, at most, can skew behavior somewhat toward what some individual made us recognize as being worth perpetuating.Amidst the turmoil of your life, the challenge of academics and the fierce competition of basketball, Mr. Jackson, you proved to have what my Father, a Marine, called courage under fire. He said certain Marines and Navy corpsmen showed this in war. He said it was not the courage to go out, take leave of your senses and take risks willy-nilly. It was not the courage of being fearless for, he said, only fools were fearless. Nor was it the courage of saintliness. No one is really a saint. Rather yours was the courage that makes a man do his duty to the best of his ability in the midst of battle, in the midst of total uncertainty of outcome, in the midst of inner turmoil, and in the midst of knowledge about the terrible unfairness of the world. It was the courage that makes a man do whatever has to be done to achieve the objective, no matter how difficult, to keep trying to succeed no matter how improbable the chance of success may seem, at any given moment, and to do so with good humor and necessary fierceness, while also looking out for his buddies.

OutlawJHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow, I am speechless. What a class-act. I feel inspired to be a little less judgmental and much more supportive...especially to our student athletes. This is one of those times where you realize that kindness and compassion do matter.Rock Chalk, Darnell.

ChicagoJHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations Darnell!! You are a big inspiration to me, and to all other KU fans. I know you will be a big success in the NBA, or whatever else you choose to do later in life. Best of luck to you. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!!

jerhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell, you are exactly what ku basketball is all about.

jhawks1987 6 years, 1 month ago

WOW....you are such an inspiration not only to all Jhawk fans but to anyone whose life you have touched through basketball and everyday life......we all have problems in our lives but you have made me see that by being a good person, as you truly have been ,and not getting down and think why me,things can get better if you believe in yourself and trust in God.. I hope to someday meet you personally and shake your hand and say thank you for being the person you are and for also being a Jhawk.....May your life be filled with health,love , laughter and much happiness for not only you but your loved ones.......Take care and be well Darrnell

Sparko 6 years, 1 month ago

Another part of this which makes everything so poignant is that DJ's personal tragedy his sophomore year stemmed from someone who acted irresponsibly and selfishly. You shouldn't leave school without a degree and some maturity.I am very proud of DJ. This is one of the outstanding letters in Kansas basketball history. Hope he is a hall of famer in the NBA too. We would all put him in Kansas' HoF based on character alone.

Brett Gaul 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow, class act. This was awesome. Best of luck Darnell. You deserve everything you are getting.

truefan 6 years, 1 month ago

I always knew D-Jack was a classy guy, but this really raises the bar. I always wonder as a fan if the players realize the love we try to show them for their hard work and dedication. I can't speak for all of them, but at least Darnell got the right message. We are all guilty of being hard on these players without thinking of all of the things they are going through. Darnell speaks of the love we showed, but maybe we should all think the next time we want to rip into a player that is leaving home, balancing practice and school, getting used to the spotlight of playing at a Premier basketball program, and above all is human like the rest of us. I am truly going to miss Darnell's leadership, dedication, hard work, and most of all his class.

killabees 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell, Thanks for the memories. You will always be an inspiration.

Dave Coen 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell:You are the definition of humility and class. I will always be proud that you are a Jayhawk and your status as a Jayhawk legend only continues to grow. I hope you know how proud your mother, grandmother and all Jayhawks are of you!You deserve the best in life. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

jaybate 6 years, 1 month ago

This ability to keep getting the job done, to keep showing the path for others to get the job done, to keep doing your job in a way that looks after others, earns you the kind of respect, both self respect and the respect of others, that makes them follow you, whether you know they are following you or not; this makes them refuse to let you down; this makes them do their duties to the best of their abilities even when they fear they cannot. Not only players acted better, because of you this year, but coaches and fans did, too. This capacity that you have, for this kind of leadership that you have shown, is the single greatest quality any man can possess/wield. It is what distinguishes Danny Manning from other men. It is what distinguishes you from other men. And it is there whether you win the ring or do not win the ring, so long as you choose to exercise it. I saw it in you and Danny BEFORE you both won your rings, because my father had it and so I recognize it in others. It was with Danny when things were rough in the NBA. It was with him when he was carrying towels for the team as a middle aged man. It was with my father when he went outside his foxhole with a Navy corpsman in the dark to find a wounded buddy, when others refused to go with the corpsman. It will be with you this way, too, if you respect it the way all these men did. Every organization from a friendship, to a family, to a blogging board, to a team, to a business, to a military, to a government, to a church must have someone, preferrably many someones, with this quality, or success is NOT possible.

1977kufan 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,Simply, you have a tremendous understanding of Kansas Jayhawk's basketball and yourself. I can not say thank you enough for this letter and everything that you have said. I sincerely hope that your Mother is improving with each day. I know that you will do outstanding in your career at Cleveland. Again, thank you for choosing the University of Kansas and thank you for everything. You will forever be remembered by many as a paragon of basketball players at the University of Kansas. I can only hope that the powers that be can see fit to retire your jersey in the Phog. Rock Chalk Jayhawk from a new Cleveland Cavaliers fan!!!

jaybate 6 years, 1 month ago

Michael Jordan and Bill Russell were exceptionally talented basketball players. But what made them the supreme winners in the history of the game was that they both possessed this same quality that you and Danny Manning possess. It is a rare gift, but one found at many levels of society. It shows up occassionally in everyone from privates to Presidents, but not often enough in Presidents and those below to keep our country consistently on a successful path. To have this quality come with bodies like Jordan and Russell had is even rarer than the gift itself. To have rare men like Jordan and Russell land with organizations run by coaches, sometimes owners, with the same quality is even more rare. This is why Jordan and Russesll are so remarkable and rare in the history of the game. Other men had their physical gifts, a few others had their courage under fire, some played for coaches with this quality, but, really, none had all the pieces in one package but those two--for so long,anyway.I do not wish to put the monkey on your back of comparing you with Jordan and Russell, or even with Danny for that matter. But you are an amazing person in your own right. Who is to say what can happen, should a man with the right stuff land with a coach with the right stuff, and sufficiently talented teammates, at any level of the game? I would only say, rule nothing out and keep doing your duty the way you have been and I will bet that in ten years you may be sending out another letter.

tomike 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell, thank you and wish you the very best. Whichever team you are on, I am a fan of that team.

kansaspike 6 years, 1 month ago

D Jax,Just so you know, the reason us KU fans take such pride in the program is people exactly like you. It's not necessarily that ring you have, but how you represented us.Thanks for putting your heart out there on the court this year and through this letter.Rock Chalk

kubasketball0809 6 years, 1 month ago

way to go D best wishes to you in the NBA like everyone else i am a new Cavs fan you are forever a Jayhawk, Rock Chalk Jayhawk

overseashawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Darnell. You are truly the epitome of classy. Your perseverance has been inspiring. I also find it very touching that some of your motivation and inspiration stemmed from the Jayhawk community. I will be rooting for you in the NBA. You have earned your roster spot in Cleveland and I am VERY proud of you.

sallyburger 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell, We are so proud of you. Congratulations and best wishes for great success. We will watch your career and hope you come back to visit now and then. You are loved.Doug and Sally Burger

Tomforistell 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell, I've watched KU basketball since the early 60's and have seen many fine young men pass through Allen Fieldhouse. You rank up there as one of the best. Your legacy will be one of class and what it truly means to be a Jayhawk. Congratulations on your contract and thank you for giving KU so much both on and off the court.

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 6 years, 1 month ago

I LOVE DARNELL. He is such a good guy and a outstanding player. I am so happy for him, he is already doing so well in life. I can't wait to watch him play again. Darrell, please visit Lawrence often. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK, congrats Darnell, you truly are a special gift from God

David Reed 6 years, 1 month ago

WOW..brought a tear to my eye.D-Jax look up the word classy in the dictionary and you'll see your picture in there.you stuck with it through thick and thin and will forever be my fav player

DSommersby 6 years, 1 month ago

WOW!!! CLASS ACT! Darnell - Congrats on everything. You put it all out there and really hit home on what it means to be a Jayhawk! We love you D-Block!

Pbbut 6 years, 1 month ago

It's examples like this that make us proud to be Jayhawks. Darnell had been in my top 10 Jayhawks of all time, or at least since 1970 when I showed up in Lawrence. He's moved into my top 5. I hope he has a long career, makes tons of money, wins another championship, and experiences the joys of success.

carolj 6 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Darnell for being such a great representative of Kansas. You truly understand what the Jayhawk tradition is all about. Thanks for being so classy, and congratulations on your success!

vmwskywalk 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,Words can not express how proud you make this crimson and blue brother.Congratulations! You deserve everything you set your sights on!

JHWKNMIZRY 6 years, 1 month ago

My family and I were always rooting for you and always will be. You are among my top Jayhawks of all time. You earned respect on and off the court by your work ethic AND talent. I expect you to realize a fourth dream by having a career in the NBA.

CO_JHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Put his jersey in the rafters. I can't think of any PERSON who deserves it more. You make me as proud as I have ever been about being a Jayhawk.Be rooting for you for still and hoping for nothing but the best for you and your family.

kevbo 6 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps the classiest Jayhawk to play the game. What a nice gesture. Best of luck to you, Darnell.

Don Everett 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,You are by far my most favorite Jayhawk. You were before this letter and you will be even more after reading this letter. You are a class act and will never be forgotten. Thank you for the memories.

100 6 years, 1 month ago

Any of us would be lucky if our kids grew up with even half the Jayhawk class he exudes. He'll always be the heart of the best ever college hoops team. Best of luck in the NBA, Darnell -- We're rooting for you!

Rock_Chalk_NYC 6 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations Darnell! I'm so happy and proud of you!Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go Cavs!

Craig Lang 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't think I can add anything to what's been said, but I'd like to put my two cents in and say...Congratulations, Darnell! You deserve every bit of your success.Keep on Rocking. Keep on Chalking.

kuae99 6 years, 1 month ago

Has anyone sent this note to the Plain Dealer to show that city what kind of person they're getting?

KCFalcon59 6 years, 1 month ago

What a great kid! I enjoyed watching you play the game with great enthusiasm, toughness and class. You were a great leader for the Jayhawks. Hope you have a long and successful career in the NBA. Thanks for all you have given us as fans!!!

Dee Shaw 6 years, 1 month ago

Proud of you Darnell. Job well done. Best of luck and come visit soon. Take care.

Mike Crosbie 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,You came to KU a boy and have left a man. You have done a lot of growing up while at KU. Just remember this...Although you signed a nice NBA contract and things will be easier financially, life is a series of challenges. Never forget that as a man, you have what it takes to meet and overcome any challenge, with dignity, humility, and respect.Rock Chalk Forever !!!!!

soapboxstew 6 years, 1 month ago

I am more proud of being a Jayhawk today than I was in April when we scratched and clawed our way back into the NC.D, I may be older than you, but I have a lot to learn from you.I pumped my heart 3 times and shed a tear.godspeed Jayhawk

Thomas Michaud 6 years, 1 month ago

Note sure, out of all the comments, if anyone has already stated this ...I really hope someone makes a movie about the "Darnell Jackson Story"

wtarush 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell... WOW! No, really... WOW!!!You will never fail to impress me as a fine person. Keeping your head above water through all your trials and adversity is one thing, but to remember, especially after taking the next HUGE step into the NBA, the fans shows nothing but admirable humility. We rode your spirit of inhuman perseverance no less than you welcomed our well-wishes. You're a ROCK!Rock Chalk Forever!!!

kataboom 6 years, 1 month ago

darnell, im a ku alum so lets party! rock chalk!

rockchalkin54 6 years, 1 month ago

I think I have a new favorite NBA team...Good luck with the Cavs, D Jack.This is why Lawrence will always be Titletown to me. Not only the sports championships, but the championships that the players have won inside themselves.Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Dan Harris 6 years, 1 month ago

WOW! DJ- You are what make me proud to be a Jayhawk. Living in Dallas I am a die hard Mavs fan but I will now be rooting for the Cavs as well. You will always hold a special place in the hearts of all Jayhawk fans everywhere. Good luck with your NBA career!Rock Chalk!

6 years, 1 month ago

Lots of excellent comments on here. The fact there are so many on a Saturday off-season basketball article is a testament to the blessing Darnell has been to all of the Jayhawk faithful.May God continue to bless you and your family, Darnell.

justanotherfan 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell Jackson is all heart, all class. Best of luck to him.

trackstar3016 6 years, 1 month ago

We love you Big D!Thanks for being such a strong, brave, person and for giving us something to believe in. You're a hero to us all. Congratulations on your degree, your signing, and your career with the hawks! Good luck and god bless!Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!

Todd Mobray 6 years, 1 month ago

My favorite Jayhawk ever. The Cavs got a steal.Here is a list of my favorite Jayhawks (since the Brown Era) based on class, work ethic, love of KU, and success. I put Darnell at the top because he MADE himself great right in front of our eyes over the past five years. Any suggestions?1. Darnell Jackson2. Danny Manning3. Wayne Simien4. Jacque Vaughn

David Black 6 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations Darnell..I am very excited for you and appreciate your wonderful letter. We (KU Alumni) need to get your jersey hoisted in Allen Field House as soon as possible. Good luck in the NBA.

arcticjhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

The arctic circle Jayhawk fans (me) just want to give Darnell Jackson props on the big contract. You deserve it! Classy letter. Thanks for the hard play all these years. Much love from Yellowknife, NWT Canada.Patrick

rcjhawk1980 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,Congratulations on the contract and thanks so much for representing KU in such a classy manner. Best of luck to you in all your endeavors, both professional and personal. And hats off to your mother for raising such a fine young man. Such an exciting time for you and your family and yet you took the time to share it with us. Please keep us in your heart, as you will always be in ours. God bless you and keep you.

WeAreTheChamps 6 years, 1 month ago

Man, I love you, Darnell. Good luck with the Cavaliers! I'll definitely miss watching you in a KU uniform but I can't wait to see you do your thing at Cleveland. You deserve every goodness in your life!

havoc4prez 6 years, 1 month ago

aw shucks what a guy! you're the man jackson!gotta put in my order for jackson's cavs jersey...

Vic Janeway 6 years, 1 month ago

YOU are obviously a role model! Bless is the INTEGRITY that overflows from you.God Bless and Congrats to Darnell Jackson!

mdwinkler19 6 years, 1 month ago

if we had more guys in the NBA like this I would watch more teams then just the ones with Ku players.

jhawks 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,You are amasing! Always share your story.Congratulations and good luck in the NBA

tdub 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,Take your nickname we bestowed upon you early in your KU career, "The Hammer", and continue to make us proud in the league. Thanks for the memories stud.

canuckhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

A big chest thump to you Darnell. Thank you for your positive example and for your passion. This letter was wonderful to read and I hope you consider all these comments as letters right back to you that demonstrate our love and appreciation for you. You'll have a big crowd of supporters all over North America cheering you on in Cleveland. If you ever need a pick me up again (and you likely will), we are there, just wave the wheat and we'll come running.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

"I now realize how that continuous support from all of you was always something that lifted me up and made me feel good and positive."Maybe the LJW can post this quote as the header on the comments section. Darnell is a great guy, and an inspiration to see representing KU, especially in light of all the struggles we know about in his life.At the same time tho, it is tragic to realize how negative comments from other Jayhawks could have torn him down and left him far from his potential. Surely this couldn't happen, and yet it does quite often. Hopefully, this will be an encouragement for all 'Hawks to be positive in posting comments - even in the face of negative circumstances.Rock Chalk!

Jeff Worthington 6 years, 1 month ago

Another reason why college basketball is the greatest sport in the world. Stories like this really speak to you.Congrats on everything Darnell, you've overcome so much, and the entire Jayhawk nation is so proud of you! Keep up the great work! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!

ralsterKUMed95 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell,Thanks for the SOLID person you are, both on and off the court. One of your bball highlights that is a KU classic is your junior year putback dunk vs. OklahomaSt (with the gorilla chest thumps afterwards)--so strong and so much of you in that piece of film--we all could tell. A strong person can sometimes create their own destiny and opportunities, and you, sir, have done exactly that. You did this all with your head held high, an example for us all. I, of course, love basketball and have a 9yr old son named Jordan (named after a famous Bulls player...) who is also well aware of the work-ethic and excellence of his namesake. But during the last 2 KU seasons, and also in the future, I have and will continue to teach and show him the worthy example of Mr. Darnell Jackson. I look forward to meeting you one day. Good luck with it all!

Tuskin 6 years, 1 month ago

We're proud of you, Darnell. Best wishes from Alaska!

coachTna 6 years, 1 month ago

God knew what he was doing when he placed you in Lawrence, KS.He knew that a kind and passionate Coach would be there in your time of need. He knew that the KU fans would encourage and uplift you in your low moments.He knew that in the end, you would be victorious on the court and off.And , I know , without a doubt, he allowed your Beloved Grandmother to smile down on you on that Championship night !!!I love to see our athletes move on to bigger and better things. Be wise. Continue to carry the Spirit of Love, Kindness and Compassion in all that you do. Of all the players I rooted for the most, it was you.You were dealt a trying time in the experience of life. God has a purpose for your life. Not only did he Bless you with great athletic talent, he gave you the Heart of a Warrior. Continue to make us proud in this next phase of your life. We'll all be watching.

drum1984 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell Jackson is the definition of a Jayhawk.Darnell Jackson is part of the reason I'm so proud to be a Kansas grad and fan

lee3022 6 years, 1 month ago

Dear Darnell,You can't know how much you mean to my wife and me. I am a housebound disabled veteran in Oregon. We pay most of our entertainment budget for access via DISH Network Satellite so we can watch every game. Like so many Jayhawks, we have been so greatly blessed by you and your teammates over these years. Your highest achievement is your KU degree. We have followed you progress after school with concern and delight. Las Vegas was good and Cleveland seems like it is so right for you. We know you can be as good as Boozer was there his rookie year and unlike Boozer, we trust that you will be loyal and true to your word with Cleveland and throughout your NBA career. You bring us much joy and we congratulate you on this great beginning. Thank you friend. You will not be forgotten.Lee and Josephine DavisSisters Oregon

Mr_Sandman 6 years, 1 month ago

Darnell makes me proud to be a Jayhawk. Thank you for representing KU with class. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!

makeitstop 6 years, 1 month ago

It was our pleasure to support you through your hard times and good times, but thank you for taking the time out of your day to let us know that support meant something to you.

CyberQue 6 years, 1 month ago

That was heart stirring. What can one say? Having watched your career at KU and what you did your senior year made you a favorite of many Jayhawkers, and now with your letter you rise above the rest - you are the best of your class. Heck I might even watch the Cavaliers just to see you play ;o)

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